We are Joining the Fight Against COVID-19
Last updated on April 13, 2020
See our FAQ Section below.
Over the past week we made several YouTube videos on how to make your own
DIY COVID-19 Face Shield. You can play the videos though the links provided
As of today (April 9, 2020), our videos have been viewed more than 200,000
times! Thanks to everyone who viewed and shared the videos, and to those who
made face shields for themselves and others!
At the time I posted the first video, there were no other similar videos on
YouTube. Since then many have DIY face shield videos have been posted, which
Date & Description
March 25, 2020
Simplified face shield design using a stapler instead of Velcro, which
can take as little as 90 seconds
March 23, 2020
Shorter video, new design using transparent binding covers.
March 20, 2020
Initial two-part video of a face shield made from a recycled plastic lid
and shipping foam.
News Section (New!)
April 9, 20209
have been contacted by CFS Products Inc. (https://www.cfsbinds.com/)
to let us know that they are now selling their clear binding covers at a
steep discount to support this worldwide effort! You can now order their
binding covers at
(They also sell these covers on
Also, check out their
- How do you take off the face shield after use? Let's say that you just went
to the market and are about to get into the car. Do you wipe the visor down
with alcohol first before taking it off?
- Can wearing a face mask of any kind reduce your
chances of getting infected?
- If I can't find a medical face mask, what other
options do I have?
- Question on the Face Shield design: Would it work well
if there is a big open space (gap) under the Face Shield?
- Why aren't health authorities advising general public
to wear face shields?
- What are the pros and cons of wearing the face shield
versus a face mask?
- One problem we encountered was fog. Do you have some
kind of solution for this?
Here we will post some questions and answers from Branko's YouTube channel,
in no particular order.
How do you take off the face shield after use? Let's say that you just went
to the market and are about to get into the car. Do you wipe the visor down
with alcohol first before taking it off?
This is what I do, not necessarily the best practice:
- When I go shopping I wear the face shield and also reusable rubber
- When I get back in the car, I wipe the front of the face shield off
with a wet baby wipe soaked with hand sanitizer.
- Next I take the face shield off and put it on the passenger seat,
- Next I wipe the back of the face shield with the same wet wipe.
- Next I add more some hand sanitizer to the wet wipe.
- Next I sanitize the gloves and anything I touched with the gloves
(e.g. car keys) with the same wet wipe.
- Next, I take the gloves off and put them on the passenger seat
beside the face shield.
Unless you wear full PPE including the full body gown, the N-95 mask, the
face shield and the gloves, you may become exposed to Coronavirus whenever
you enter the environment in which Coronavirus is present in the air
(aerosolized) or on the surfaces. However, the face shield alone should help
reduce the Infectious Dose (the amount of virus exposure at the start of
infection), by providing a physical barrier to water droplets containing
Coronavirus and by making it much harder to touch your face while you are
wearing it. Reducing the Infectious Dose should at least make your symptoms
milder in case you become infected with the Coronavirus.
Can wearing a face mask of any kind reduce your chances of getting infected?
So far the authorities in the western countries have generally been
advising against wearing masks when it comes to general public. Sometimes
the risk of getting infected when removing the mask and the risk of touching
your face when wearing the mask (to adjust the mask) were cited as
rationales for this recommendation. Many suspected that the main reason was
that there was, and is, a shortage of masks for the health care workers, who
need the masks much more than general public.
Just within the last few days, the recommendations seem to have started
change. Some of the reasons cited for this is the experience from countries
like China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, which have successfully
"flattened the curve" and where a lot more people wear masks than in the
western countries. While correlation does not necessarily imply causations,
there seems to be mounting evidence that wearing masks reduces the chances
There are several potential issues with wearing a face mask mask that
have been quoted in the media:
- If the general public is told to wear face
masks, the demand for the surgical masks and the N-95 masks will
skyrocket, making it more difficult for the frontline health care
workers, for whom they are essential, to get them.
This is an absolutely valid argument! Unless the hospitals in
your area, and in your country as a whole, have enough medical face
masks, then please do not try to obtain some yourself, at least not
until the supply of the masks has exceeded the demand from the health
care institutions. Instead, you may want to make your own DIY face
masks, as it has been advised by CDC in their
Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks.
- Wearing a face mask will make you more likely
to touch your face in order to adjust the mask.
This is where wearing the Face Shield on top of the face mask comes in
- Unless the face mask is worn properly and it
is N-95 rated, wearing it will do more to protect those around you in
case you are infected, then to protect you if someone around you is
This is absolutely true! However, if the majority of people wore the
face masks in public (like in Taiwan and South Korea), and even better
if they wore the face shields and the face masks, we would all be
better protected and the spread of the Coronavirus would be slowed.
- Taking the mask off, if done improperly, can
actually infect you with the Coronavirus.
This is also true! However, there are numerous resources on thee
Internet that will teach you how to do that. For example,
How to Put on and Remove a Face Mask published by the San Francisco
Department of Public Health.
- If people wear face masks that will give them
a false sense of security, so they will be more likely to go out and
ignore the guidelines for physical distancing, and will thus increase
the spread of the Coronavirus.
This is a dubious argument at best. Yes, some not-so-bright and/or
careless people will do just that, but I think that they make a small
minority of the general public (and if I'm wrong, then we are doomed
anyway). However, if the vast majority of people use the face masks (and
face shields) as an added protection against spreading the Coronavirus,
while still observing all other guidelines, then the damage done by the
few Covidiots will be greatly outweighed by the benefit earned by the
rest of us.
A little off topic, the "false sense of security" argument also reminds
me of the old argument against putting the airbags in cars, that driving
a car with an an airbag will make people drive more recklessly than they
would otherwise, thus increasing the total number of accidents and the
number of fatalities. A former colleague of mine used to say that, by
the same logic, instead of the airbags, the car manufacturers should be
installing 9 inch spikes on the steering wheels, pointing straight at
the driver's head. Now that would make everyone slow down and pay
If I can't find a medical face mask, what other options do I have?
The best answers to this question can be found on the CDC Web page
Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks. Below is an excerpt (HCP
means Health Care Personnel):
- Use a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the
chin or below) and sides of the face with no facemask.
- HCP use of homemade masks: In settings where facemasks are not
available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care
of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are
not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown.
Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks
should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the
entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.
Question on the Face Shield design: Would it work well if there is a big
open space (gap) under the Face Shield?
The most important part of the face shield is the top part (say the top 6
inches or 15 cm), which covers the eyes, the nose and the mouth. However,
the longer the shield and the more it wraps around your head, the better. If
the transparent plastic is too small or to short, one way to extend the face
shield is to glue or tape or staple another piece of plastic to the bottom
of it or to the sides of it. The bottom or side pieces don't even have have
to be transparent.
Why aren't health authorities advising general public to wear face shields?
This is a very good question. One answer would be ask the health
authorities, only they should know. One possible reason is that, while it is
somewhat normal for general public to wear face masks (especially in many
Asian countries) it is not usual to wear face shields. Another reason could
be that the there are still not enough face shields for the health care
professionals, let alone general public.
This news article (thanks to one Julia for the link) talks about how
wearing face shields in public could help fight the Pandemic Iowa doctors:
Face shields are an achievable way to provide protections that COVID-19
demands. The Iowa doctors article says basically the same thing that we
have been trying to promote. The only thing they have missed is that the
general public could be equipped with DIY face shields in a very short
order. Otherwise, it will take a very long time to wait for production to
catch up to the demand.
Here's an interesting story from Thailand on
face shields for babies!
What are the pros and cons of wearing the face shield versus a face mask?
According to the scientific paper
Face shields for infection control: A review by Raymond J. Roberge, the
Advantages and disadvantages of face shields compared with other forms of
face/eye protection (i.e., protective facemasks [filtering facepiece
respirators, medical/surgical masks], goggles, safety glasses) are:
- more comfortable
- protect a larger portion of the face
- less retained dermal facial heat
- less fogging than goggles
- less claustrophobic
- no impact on breathing resistance
- no fit testing required
- can be disinfected easily
- wearers do not need to be clean shaven
- easy to don and doff
- relatively inexpensive
- no impact on vocalization
- can be worn concurrent to other face/eye PPE
- do not impede facial nonverbal communication
- reduced patient anxiety
- protects against self-inoculation over a wider facial area
- may extend the useful life of a protective facemask when used
- optically imperfect
- some models may not fit properly over some respirators (e.g.,
duckbill filtering face piece respirators)
- bulkier than goggles and safety glasses
- peripheral fit poorer than protective facemasks
Again and again, a couple of important advantages of the face shields are
- the DIY version is generally as effective as the "professional"
version. The same cannot be said the the DIY face masks.
- If the use of DIY face shields was promoted by the health
authorities, a large portion of general public could be equipped with
DIY face shields in a matter of days. Why this is not done remains a
One problem we encountered was fog. Do you have some kind of solution for
One of our YouTube viewers (Mary Ann) came up with an elegant solution,
by adding weather strip pieces spaced along the strip base to create air
flow channel, as shown in the picture on the left below. This method will
work well if you are using thin foam (weather stripping), say 1/4 to 3/8
inch thick (6 to 10 mm).
Another, even easier way would be to cut the foam into four 2 inch long
pieces and space them 1/2 inches apart, as shown in the picture on the
right. This assumes that you are using the foam that is 1/2 inch (13 mm)
thick or more.
This way the warm breath air can pass out the top of the mask. This
should work for both cold weather to avoid fogging up and for warm weather
to provide some cooling air flow under the face shield.
Why DIY COVID-19 Face Shield?
You must have
seen photos and videos of doctors and nurses dealing with COVID-19 patients
wearing transparent face shields over their N-95 face masks. However, at least here in
Canada, there are not enough face shields available even for the front line
health care providers, let alone the general public.
worry, you can make your own DIY COVID-19 Face Shield yourself, quickly,
easily and cheaply, and we will show you how to do that. All you
will need is a piece of transparent plastic, a little piece of foam or
weather stripping, an elastic head band, an office stapler and some Velcro if you want to make it
adjustable. If you have all the materials, it shouldn't take you more than
10 minutes to make one.
You can also consider wearing
your DIY COVID-19 Face
Shield it the fashion and social
statement in support of the front line doctors and nurses, some of them
still working without all necessary PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)!
News (March 30, 2020):
the maker of hockey gear, has announced that it is shifting production to
make visors for medical staff, first responders, and those in need. Their
main challenge now is that the order demand is currently vastly exceeding
their available capacity. Just the province of
Quebec has placed an order for 300,000!
We have a few comments about this:
We were ahead of
the curve in realizing that millions of face shields will be needed to
that are switching to manufacturing medical face shields will not be
able to fill even a fraction of the demand. Therefore, our DIY approach
is the only way to deploy sufficient number of face shields to not just
medical staff, but the population at large.
The face shields
made by Bauer look very much like a professional version of our DIY
models, which aren't perfect, but are be good enough for now.
How does the DIY COVID-19 Face Shield Work?
Face Shield does not relieve you from observing all other precautions
recommended by WHO and mandated by your local authorities, such as
self-isolation and physical distancing.
Shield should, however, provide an additional layer of protection to you and those around you from airborne droplets that
may carry the Coronavirus. It does that by providing a physical barrier that
the droplets cannot cross.
the Face Shield will generally prevent you from touching your face,
which is equally important in protecting you from contracting this nasty Coronavirus.
COVID-19 Face Shield is comfortable to wear, and you can easily wear it over
your glasses and/or over a face mask. You should wear it when you go
shopping for groceries and it whenever you go out of your home for whatever
COVID-19 Face Shield is reusable, however, you should disinfect it after every
use with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. A number of reputable sources
(for example this
article on sciencealert.com),
claim that using a 60% by volume alcohol solution is a recommended minimum
concentration that will kill the Coronavirus.
It seems that very high concentrations (90%+)
are less effective disinfectants than lower concentrations. For example the
paper by Nina A. Gold and Usha Avva claims that:
The antimicrobial activity of alcohols can be attributed
to their ability to denature and coagulate proteins. The microorganism’s
cells are then lysed, and their cellular metabolism is disrupted.
Alcohol solutions containing 60% to 95% alcohol are most effective.
Our second video showed
using rubbing alcohol and a 100 proof Vodka (50% alcohol) as a sanitizer. We
have since removed that clip. Rubbing alcohol can be used, unless its
concentration is greater than 95%, in which case it should be diluted with
water before use. However, if you are low on rubbing alcohol, you can use it
to "spike" the vodka you may have laying around and turn it into 60% alc.
sanitizer. Just make sure you do the math right and mark the bottle of
spiked Vodka "sanitizer - do not drink"!
Although you should sanitize your COVID-19 Face Shield
after each trip to the supermarket, or any other store, it is still much
more important that you wash your hands as soon as you come home. You are
much more likely to have large numbers of viruses on your hands from
touching dirty surfaces, than to have them on the outside of your Face
Shield. That is why everyone is telling you to wash your hands regularly,
while as far as we know, nobody is urging people to wash their faces.
Do not share your DIY
COVID-19 Face Shield with
others. Instead, show them how to make their own!
Finally a disclaimer: DIY COVID-19 Face Shield
alone will NOT prevent you from getting
infected, or from passing the infection to others. However, if used
properly, it should help reduce the chances of infection and help FLATTEN THE CURVE!
Step-by-Step Instructions for DIY
COVID-19 Face Shield
Below are detailed instructions ant tips on how to make your
simple DIY COVID-19 Face Shield, similar to the one we made in the
A) Materials Required
You will need these four things to build your DIY
COVID-19 Face Shield:
- A piece of transparent plastic
it on amazon.com)
better, buy from CFS PRODUCTS Inc.)
- A piece of elastic (find
it on amazon.com)
- A piece of foam
it on amazon.com)
- Something to tie the Elastic to
The easiest to use are the binding covers or the presentation
covers, which can be obtained in office supplies stores. We are using
Staples Presentation Covers. Box of 100 sells for CAD 77.00 at Staples,
which is outrageous, when one can
order from CFS Products for much much less! Also, check out their
The presentation covers are just about the right size for a
Face Shield. They are a little larger than the standard Letter size paper (8.5x11").
A4 size also works well.
The presentation covers we used is 0.0065" (0.16 mm) thick.
If you can find thicker covers, they should be more durable. Just make sure
that they are transparent enough.
Some of the presentation covers that are sold are semi-opaque, even though
it says on the box that they are transparent.
If you cannot find the presentation covers, or you don't want
to spend money buying them, the good news is that nowadays everything is
wrapped in plastic and you may be able to find pieces of transparent plastic
that are big enough to act as a face shield.
Below are just two examples:
You will only have to cut the
edges, trim it to right size and peal off the labels, which can sometimes be
tricky. The trick is to do it slowly.
You will need approximately 13" (33 cm) long piece of
3/4" or 1" (20 to 25 mm) wide general purpose elastic, like the ones
shown in the photo, to make a comfortable head band.
We bough ours at Walmart. You can also buy them at arts and
crafts stores and sewing supplies stores.
If you cannot find the elastic in stores, or to save money,
you may be able reuse a piece of elastic from an old pair of underwear.
Even a couple of rubber bands could work, although a nice
wide piece of elastic makes wearing the Face Shield much
The quickest way to build a DIY COVID-19 Face Shield is using a self
adhesive foam window seal (weather stripping). For best results use
minimum 3/4" (19 mm) wide by 1/2" (13 mm) thick foam.
This should be available at all hardware stores. We
bought ours at the Home Depot.
You can also use thinner weather stripping,
but in that case you should use two layers.
In case you don't have the weather stripping, you can
use any other type of foam, like a strip of packaging foam (shown in the
picture below) or a piece of Styrofoam, which you can easily cut to the
right size using a sharp Exacto knife.
If the piece of foam you are using doesn't have the
adhesive back, you will have to use some kind of glue to glue it to the
plastic piece. We found that the regular hot-melt glue gun works the best.
Use the low temperature setting, as the high temperature may damage the
A.4) Something to tie the
Elastic to the Plastic
can attach the elastic to the plastic in a couple of ways. Our first idea
was to use heavy duty self-adhesive Velcro (which we bought at the Canadian
Tire). We found that it sticks very well to both the clear plastic sheet and
to the elastic. The width of the Velcro should match the width of the
3/4" or 1" (20 to 25 mm) wide.
it on amazon.com)
Velcro can have a dual purpose, to attach the elastic to the plastic sheet
and to make the length of the head band adjustable.
We also tried various sticky tapes (like Duct Tape), however, they didn't
stick to well to the elastic and they tend to tear after a while, so stay
away from those.
a lot of trial and error, we found that the best results in connecting the
elastic to the plastic sheet were achieved using an office stapler.
Any old stapler, like the ones shown in the picture, will be adequate.
B) Step-by-Step Instructions
- Cut all parts to size
- Attach one side of the elastic to
the plastic sheet
- Glue the foam to the plastic
- Attach the other side of the
elastic to the plastic sheet
- You are done!
B.1) Cut all parts to
Cut all material to the following sizes:
Transparent plastic: approximately 11 inches wide x 8.5 inches
high (28 x 21 cm). A little smaller should still be OK. If you are using a
report cover, you don't need to do any cutting as it is already the correct
Elastic: 13 inches long.
Foam: 10 inches (25 cm) long, or about 1 inch (2.5 cm) shorter
than the width of the plastic sheet.
one side of the elastic to the plastic sheet
Attach the elastic to the top corner of the transparent plastic sheet. The
elastic will wend up on the front side of the plastic sheet. The easiest and
sturdiest method is to staple the elastic to the plastic sheet.
B.3) Glue the foam to the plastic sheet
If you are using the self adhesive foam, simply line up the foam with the
top of the plastic sheet, stretch it a bit and press it down onto the sheet.
Make sure that the foam doesn't stick above the sheet.
It is best to attach the foam a few millimeters below the top of the sheet.
This is important so that the adhesive on the back of the foam does not
stick above the plastic sheet.
If you are using regular packaging foam or Styrofoam, you should glue it
using a glue gun. Because these foams aren't as flexible as the weather
stripping, you should bend the foam piece before gluing it to the plastic.
Detailed instructions on how to build your own DIY COVID-19 Face Shield will
include photos, measures, specifications and tips & tricks.
the other side of the elastic to the plastic sheet
The final step is to staple the other side of the elastic to the opposite
top corner of the plastic sheet. It is best to do this from the outside. If
needed you may temporarily peel back the end of the foam, so that you don't
staple through the foam.
B.5) You are done!
Your DIY COVID-19 Face Shield is completed and it is ready to be used!